Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Last week I wrote about the Colorado 15 show at the Kirkland Museum in Denver.  The Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art is a treasure, housed in the historic art school and studio of Vance Kirkland. Kirkland is best remembered for his "dot paintings,"that he developed in his later years, as seen in the painting in the center of this photo.  He would suspend himself over the canvas to work on his larger works.
The museum has one of the most impressive international, modernist collections in North America.  There are over 3,000 objects (from vases to furniture) representing Arts & Crafts, Art Nouvea, Glasgow Style, Wiener Werskatte, Se Stijl, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Modern and Pop Art.  I can identify with many of the pieces in this museum, for I grew up with a house full of George Nelson, Nessen, Herman Miller, Bertoia, Saarinen and Knoll furniture. I guess that is one of the reasons that I love my International Style home in Denver that was built in 1938.
Aren't these ceramic Art Deco book ends great?
I have always been attracted to the Art Deco Bizarre ware by Clarice Cliff.  I actually have a copy of one the vases. 
I really like the simplicity of this bronze plaque that is in the sculpture garden, "Birds" by Colorado artist, Edgar Britton. (1969)
Kirkland painted in a variety of styles ranging from realism, surrealism, hard edge abstction, abstraction expression to the style he perfected in later years, Dot Paintings.  "Ruins of Central City" is certainly surreal.
The Weiner Werkstatte clear and colbalt glass goblets and decanter are really elegant.   Designed by Otto Prutscher in 1912.  But then again, I am a sucker for blue.
The organic shaped Bauer Art Pottery were molded and with silica glazes applied in a combination of colors and thicknesses.  All resulting in an unique piece.  Russel Wrigth Bauer was responsible for the ceramic forms and he collaborated with Doris Coutant on the glazes.
This "Jazz Bowl" is one of my favorites.  This piece was made by a classmate of Kirkland's, Viktor Schreckengost in 1931.  It is regarded as probably the masterpiece of Art Deco ceramics.  The first one was commisioned by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1930, before her husband became the 32nd President.
The Kirkland Museum has a fantastic collection and I bet you will not leave without picking out a few of your favorite pieces.  I know I do and I usually add a new one each time.

No comments:

Post a Comment